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The Bay of Naples with mount Vesuvius by Braun and Hogenberg.

Braun G. & Hogenberg F. and the Civitates Orbis Terrarum.

The Civitates Orbis Terrarum, or the "Braun & Hogenberg", is a six-volume town atlas and the greatest book of town views and plans ever published: 363 engravings, sometimes beautifully coloured. It was one of the best-selling works in the last quarter of the 16th century. Georg Braun wrote the text accompanying the plans and views on the verso. A large number of the plates were engraved after the original drawings of Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1600), who was a professional artist. The first volume was published in Latin in 1572, the sixth volume in 1617. Frans Hogenberg created the tables for volumes I through IV, and Simon van den Neuwel created those for volumes V and VI. Other contributors were cartographer Daniel Freese, and Heinrich Rantzau. Works by Jacob van Deventer, Sebastian Münster, and Johannes Stumpf were also used. Translations appeared in German and French.

Following the original publication of Volume 1 of the Civitates in 1572, seven further editions of 1575, 1577, 1582, 1588, 1593, 1599 and 1612 can be identified. Vol.2, first issued in 1575, was followed by further editions in 1597 and in 1612. The next volumes appeared in 1581, 1588, 1593, 1599 and 1606. The German translation of the first volume appeared from 1574 on and the French edition from 1575 on.

Several printers were involved: Theodor Graminaeus, Heinrich von Aich, Gottfried von Kempen, Johannis Sinniger, Bertram Buchholtz and Peter von Brachel, who all worked in Cologne.

Georg Braun (1541-1622)

Georg Braun was born in Cologne in 1541. After his studies in Cologne he entered the Jesuit Order as a novice. In 1561 he obtained his bachelor's degree and in 1562 his Magister Artium. Although he left the Jesuit Order, he studied theology, gaining a licentiate in theology.

Frans Hogenberg (1535-1590)

Frans Hogenberg was a Flemish and German painter, engraver, and mapmaker. He was born in Mechelen as the son of Nicolaas Hogenberg.

By the end of the 1560s Frans Hogenberg was employed upon Abraham Ortelius's Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, published in 1570; he is named as engraver on numerous maps. In 1568 he was bannend from Antwerp by the Duke of Alva and travelled to London, where he stayed a few years before emigrating to Cologne. There he immediately embarked on his two most important works, the Civitates published from 1572 and the Geschichtsblätter, which appeared in several series from 1569 until about 1587.

Thanks to such large scale projects as the Geschichtsblätter and the Civitates, Hogenberg's social circumstances improved with each passing year. He died as a wealthy man in Cologne in 1590.

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Elegantissimus ad Mare Tyrrhenum ex Monte Pausilipo Neapolis Montisque Vesuvius Prospectus, c. 1610.

€1100  ($1232 / £990)
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Item Number:  10353
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Italy - Cities
References: Van der Krogt 4 - 2995; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg - p.424

Old map - bird's-eye view of the Bay of Naples with mount Vesuvius, by Braun and Hogenberg, after Hoefnagel, 1578.

Date of first edition: 1596
Date of this map: c. 1610

Copper Engraving
Size (not including margins): 36.5 x 48.5 cm (14.37 x 19.09 inch) (height x width)
Verso: French text
Condition: Original coloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A+
References: Van der Krogt 4, 2995; Fauser, 9620; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.424

From: Théâtre des Principales Villes de tout l'Univers. Tome 5. c. 1610.

TRANSLATION OF CAPTION: The most beautiful view from Mount Posilippo of Naples on the Tyrrhenian Sea and of Mount Vesuvius.

Signed an dated bottom right: Painted by Georg Hoefnagel in the year 1579.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "Mount Vesuvius is particularly noteworthy because so many authors describe it and it lies near Naples beside the sea. Strabo describes it as follows: Mount Vesuvius has a fertile soil, except at the very top of the mountain, where there is a barren plateau, where hollow pits with scorched stones can be seen that grow ever deeper on account of the great heat. It is therefore assumed that fuel and tinder that burns well are present within, and that the burning will only cease when this material runs short or is used up. In the middle it has a chasm that is thought to be bottomless and to extend deep into the earth; from this it expels its fire."

As a complement to the bird's-eye of Naples in Volume I, this plate offers an atmospheric view of the Gulf of Naples looking towards Vesuvius in the centre, located just 9 km from the city. Overlooking the city from Vomero Hill is the Castel Sant'Elmo, characterized by symbolic cannon fire. An impressive ancient tunnel can be seen in the foreground, the Grotta di Posilippo (I), which had been widened only a few years earlier, under Viceroy Don Pedro de Toledo, and which provided convenient access to Pozzuoli and Baia from Naples. The entrance in fact lies at a 90-degree angle to the opening shown here, where it has been altered for the sake of the composition. Naples lies between two active volcanic regions, Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields. Amongst Vesuvius's many terrifying eruptions, probably the most famous was the one that destroyed Pompeii on AD 24 August 79. The volcano has been dormant since 1944. Naples arose around 750 BC out of two Greek colonies; the Greeks named the rapidly growing town "Nea Polis", signifying "New Town". During the Roman Empire Naples and its neighbours Capri, Herculaneum and Pompeii became popular summer residences of the Roman upper classes. After being ruled by a number of different dynasties over the centuries, in 1442 Naples was conquered by King Alfonso V of Aragon, who made it the capital of his southern Italian kingdom. (Taschen)

Braun G. & Hogenberg F. and the Civitates Orbis Terrarum.

The Civitates Orbis Terrarum, or the "Braun & Hogenberg", is a six-volume town atlas and the greatest book of town views and plans ever published: 363 engravings, sometimes beautifully coloured. It was one of the best-selling works in the last quarter of the 16th century. Georg Braun wrote the text accompanying the plans and views on the verso. A large number of the plates were engraved after the original drawings of Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1600), who was a professional artist. The first volume was published in Latin in 1572, the sixth volume in 1617. Frans Hogenberg created the tables for volumes I through IV, and Simon van den Neuwel created those for volumes V and VI. Other contributors were cartographer Daniel Freese, and Heinrich Rantzau. Works by Jacob van Deventer, Sebastian Münster, and Johannes Stumpf were also used. Translations appeared in German and French.

Following the original publication of Volume 1 of the Civitates in 1572, seven further editions of 1575, 1577, 1582, 1588, 1593, 1599 and 1612 can be identified. Vol.2, first issued in 1575, was followed by further editions in 1597 and in 1612. The next volumes appeared in 1581, 1588, 1593, 1599 and 1606. The German translation of the first volume appeared from 1574 on and the French edition from 1575 on.

Several printers were involved: Theodor Graminaeus, Heinrich von Aich, Gottfried von Kempen, Johannis Sinniger, Bertram Buchholtz and Peter von Brachel, who all worked in Cologne.

Georg Braun (1541-1622)

Georg Braun was born in Cologne in 1541. After his studies in Cologne he entered the Jesuit Order as a novice. In 1561 he obtained his bachelor's degree and in 1562 his Magister Artium. Although he left the Jesuit Order, he studied theology, gaining a licentiate in theology.

Frans Hogenberg (1535-1590)

Frans Hogenberg was a Flemish and German painter, engraver, and mapmaker. He was born in Mechelen as the son of Nicolaas Hogenberg.

By the end of the 1560s Frans Hogenberg was employed upon Abraham Ortelius's Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, published in 1570; he is named as engraver on numerous maps. In 1568 he was bannend from Antwerp by the Duke of Alva and travelled to London, where he stayed a few years before emigrating to Cologne. There he immediately embarked on his two most important works, the Civitates published from 1572 and the Geschichtsblätter, which appeared in several series from 1569 until about 1587.

Thanks to such large scale projects as the Geschichtsblätter and the Civitates, Hogenberg's social circumstances improved with each passing year. He died as a wealthy man in Cologne in 1590.

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